If you are not automating, then chances are you are probably wasting your time on some menial tasks.
When you get into web automation, there are basically two products that are worth considering for most of your tasks. In this post I’m going to go over my experience with the two, and discuss which one I think is better.
iMacros has two different versions. One is a free extension for mozilla firefox. But the Scripting Edition of iMacros is a $499 dollar product that has a few more options. I will only be discussing the Free version in this post. The full version is far more expensive, and less powerful than Ubot Studio, so there really isn’t any comparison there. Instead this post will focus on the differences between the Free version of iOpus’ Imacros, because although it is not anywhere near as powerful as Ubot Studio, it is Free, and therefore is a great tool for people just starting out.
Ease of use
iMacros is slightly easier to get started using the first time than Ubot is. It allows you to “record” what you are doing in your browser, and therefore for simple operations like logging into your email account, and performing some action, you can have a script up and running in just minutes. Ubot though, is not difficult to use, and can perform any action that Imacros can, and many more.
Sharing / Selling your Bots
Imacros will allow you to save your bot script, and share it with anyone you like. They will have to install the extension for firefox, but after that, they can use your script on their machine. Because the script is just a text file, it is completely viewable, and can not be made private. It would be difficult to sell and support an iMacros script, because chances are, any one could duplicate your efforts.
Ubot allows you to “Compile” your bot into an executable file that can run on any compatible windows machine. The advantage to Ubot here is that the person who is running the compiled version of the bot can NOT see the code. This allows you to put passwords into it without fear of them being shared, Or to sell your bot without anyone being able to copy it. Ubot also has a bot marketplace where you can sell your compiled bots.
Conditional statements are things like “If the page contains XYZ, Then do X, Else do Y”. The reason these are so helpful is because you can handle many of the exceptions that different webpages throw at you. For example, if you were scraping results from a Yelp.com listing area that had multiple pages, there is not really a way of knowing what number of pages each section might have. Instead you would create an If / Then / Else that looked on the page for the “Next” button. If the Next button is on the page, then you would click it, and gather the info from the next page. If it isn’t on the page, then you could perform some other action, or end the script etc.
Ubot Studio wins hands down here. iMacros is unable to do any type of If / Then / Else statements without using scripts that you have to write outside of iMacros in languages like VBS or C. The whole purpose of automation is to make it easier, not harder, so this is a huge piece that is missing from iMacros.
Ubot handles these with ease, and you can create loops, and conditionals to your hearts content. Every bot I create relies on these for the heavy lifting.
This is another area that Ubot Studio takes the cake, simply because this functionality doesn’t exist in iMacros. If you are creating accounts, or posting articles or some other action that encounters Captcha’s then Ubot can be used to overcome them. Ubot supports Death by Captcha, Decapture and Bypass Captcha. You just provide your account info, and it will be used to automatically solve the captchas with your attached account.
Account Creation & Email Verification
Ubot has built in features that will help you provide a randomized Name, Email, Birthday and other account info that might be required. With iMacros you have to provide a list of these items in a separate text file. Ubot also has an Email Verification feature that allows you to login to your email account, and click on the verification link, which is key when you are setting up new accounts on sites like Ezine or Twitter. This can certainly be scripted with Imacros, but it is something that is already built in with Ubot.
This is the only area where iMacros wins hands down over Ubot. As I mentioned previously, the Free version of iMacros costs significantly less than Ubot Studio. Ubot Studio retails for $249, and is therefore much more expensive. I can say though that since I purchased Ubot Studio a couple years ago, I haven’t once gone back to using iMacros because I’ve had no need to.